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Rabbi's Week In Review - 8/15/2022

08/15/2022 03:57:30 PM

Aug15

I had the pleasure and honor this past Sunday of giving the sermon at Peace Church, where my colleague and friend the Rev. Holly McKissick serves as senior minister and spiritual leader. I spoke of how our Jewish calendar occurs as an emotional flow. It runs on a cycle of emotional highs and lows — confronting realities about ourselves that are difficult, interspersed with times of joy and celebration.

This cycle of emotions is not just a continually repeating cycle (although, at times, it may seem so). It ultimately serves to move us forward, toward a better world and toward a place where we can ultimately experience G-d’s redemptive spirit. The sermon, if folks were shooting straight with me, was well-received. 

It is gratifying to think that something so Jewish as our calendar, with all of its important days to mark time and history, may have application beyond our own community. During these challenging times, with hateful rhetoric and threats to our democracy — and it is never good for Jews when democracy comes under attack — we can be a living example of turning despair into hope and hate into compassion via the guidance of our calendar.

The mere fact of our long existence (and there is nothing mere about it) speaks to how we have been a light to the nations, holding onto hope during the most challenging times. Our calendar is a means to connect to our most deeply held Jewish values.

As part of our ongoing Clergy Leadership Incubator, the Design Team learned of a desire to do more engagement with other faith communities. Sunday was one example of the potential for that kind of programming. We can engage with other wonderful faith communities like Peace Church while still being our authentic Jewish selves. We each take a different pathway to ultimately arrive at the same good place. I am grateful for the opportunity, and look forward to how each of our communities can strengthen each other.

Wed, October 5 2022 10 Tishrei 5783